Small-Cap Energy Stocks Move Higher Against Market

Joel Anderson  |

Several small-cap energy companies saw their stock shift in value significantly today as the market took a tumble overall. While some lost value, several moved up. Alon USA Energy, Inc. (ALJ) was the day's big winner on a strong quarterly report and the announcement of a dividend, pushing shares up by over 40 percent.

Earnings Report Drives Price Spike

Alon,  an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, reported a net income of $28.6 million, or $0.51 per share after market close yesterday. Excluding special items, the company earned $39 million, good for $0.70 a share. This is a marked improvement over last year when the company registered a Q3 loss of $31.8 million, or $0.59 a share. Alon also announced that it would be paying a dividend this quarter of $0.04 a share, or $0.16 annualized, representing about a 2 percent yield based on the current share price.

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Alon is based in Dallas but operates refineries in Louisiana, West Texas, and California. Stated CEO Paul Eisman, "For the third quarter of 2011, I am happy both with the results for the quarter and with the progress we've made towards further improvements in our businesses. Our adjusted EBITDA was $114 million for the third quarter of 2011 which marks our best quarterly results in almost three years. ... During the third quarter of 2011, we reduced net debt by $78 million and improved our net debt to total capitalization ratio from 71 percent to 68 percent.  Debt reduction is a priority for the Company, and we anticipate reducing net debt further as we lower excess inventory levels by approximately 700 thousand barrels by year end."

Other energy stocks were on the rise on Friday. Longwei Petroleum Investment Hold Ltd. (LPH), a Chinese holding company engaged in the transport and storage of finished petroleum products, jumped nearly 13 percent. Longwei has seen fairly steady gains since withdrawing a $50 million shelf registration early in October. Toreador Resources Corporation (TRGL), a French oil exploration company, is up over 12 percent in early trading, and TransAtlantic Petroleum Ltd (TAT), a vertically integrated oil and gas exploration company, is up over 13 percent.

Energy Stocks on the Decline

Cal Dive International, Inc. (DVR), a Houston based diving specialist that caters to the oil and natural gas industry, is down over 7 percent today. The company released its Q1 reports after market close on Tuesday and showed a loss of $34.4 million or $0.37 a share that included a $28.8 million of after-tax non-cash impairment charges. Geokinetics, Inc. (GOK) lost over 6 percent today. The company, which provides seismic data collection and analysis for the oil and gas industry, is still operating under a dark cloud since several workers were killed at sea on September 8 during Tropical Storm Nate. The incident has resulted in a lawsuit against the company amid claims from Captain Jeremy Parfait that calls for rescue were ignored.

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